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Tutorial: Sun Mosaic Wall Art

I love making wall art pieces – they are so fun to make, and they let you look at your art all the time when you display them! This sun mosaic wall art was made for the Buttons Galore booth at Creativation, but now has a permanent home in my home for me to enjoy.

[Disclaimer: My company, Nally Studios, is the social media & blog manager for Buttons Galore. I am also part of blogger programs for Cricut and Plaid, who provided some product used in this article. Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking.]

Sun Mosaic Wall ARt

Supplies:

This project is somewhat time consuming, but none of the techniques are especially difficult. The most challenging part is doing the cutting with the jigsaw, but if you aren’t too intimidated by power tools and take your time, that is very manageable.

To start my sun, I needed to make a pattern to cut my wood with. I found a sun cut file in my Cricut Design Space software, and sized it to 17″ across. This is too large to cut out on the Cricut, of course, so I use the rectangle basic shape tool to cut the design into quarters. Then I cut each quarter of the design out, and taped them back together to make my pattern!

Once the pattern was assembled, I taped it in place on my plywood and drew around it with a pencil. I removed the template and set it aside to use again.

sun template

To cut the sun out, I worked from the points down towards the center of the sun for each cut. Then I used the jigsaw to round off the tip of each ray.

Cutting Out Wall Art Background

After all of the cutting was done I was left with a rough sun shape. I cleaned up the edges and smoothed out the shape by sanding it with various grits of sandpaper until I got it to the shape that I wanted and it was smooth.

Wood Sun Cut Out

I wanted to seal and cover up the bare wood despite the fact that it would mostly be covered by the button mosaic, so before I started putting buttons down I painted the surface and the sides with Plaid chalk pain in a nice mustard color. This way, if any of the surface shows through (and all of it will on the sides), it will be a color that coordinates with the design and it won’t look unfinished.

The next step was to draw pencil lines approximately down the center of each of the rays. Before I started putting down the buttons, I sorted the “Mango Madness” buttons to remove the darkest orange ones. Then, using these dark colored buttons, I started gluing buttons along the lines I had drawn, stopping where the rays met the center area of the sun.

Mosaic Sun Construction

Once I did the lines on the rays with the dark buttons, then I started on filling in around them with the lighter buttons from the Mango Madness color blend.

Mosaic Sun Construction

For some of the smaller areas near the points of the sun’s rays, I used flat back pearls from the Candy Corn embellishment bottle instead of buttons. When I was done filling in the rays with buttons I was left with this:

Mosaic Sun Construction

The next step was to use more of the dark orange buttons to create a small circle in the middle of the sun. After that was done, I began filling in around it with the rest of the mango buttons. I worked one small area at a time so that my buttons wouldn’t get pushed and moved too much while the glue was drying.

Mosaic Sun center construction

To make it look more finished, I added beads and sequins to my sun mosaic. I sorted the seed beads from the candy cane embellishment bottles by color before I started. Next I started putting dots of glue into the small open areas between buttons, and pushing beads into it as filler. The orange beads went into any opening that touched a dark orange button, and the lighter seed beads went into other openings.A few openings between buttons were big enough for flat back pearls so I used those.

I also added beads to fill in along the edges of the rays in the gaps between the buttons. I used my fingers to mold the beads into shape along the edge after pushing them into a bed of glue to hold them.

Button Mosaic Sun

I thought my sun needed a little more sparkle, so for a finishing touch I added some of the dark orange sequins on top of the darker buttons using Glossy Accents.

To hang this on the wall, I plan to use Command Hook picture hangers, which will remove any need for me to attach a hanger to the back of my wall art piece.

This same technique of creating a pattern and cutting it out with your jigsaw to create a button mosaic base could be applied to any shape that you can make with your Cricut…what shape would you like to make?

Tutorial: Heart Chicken Wire Memo Board

Today, I’m excited to be sharing the first of two tutorials for projects that I made that were on display at the Creativation show last month in the Buttons Galore booth. This heart chicken wire memo board was so fun to make, and I so enjoyed sharing it with so many people at the show!

[Disclaimer: My company, Nally Studios, is the social media & blog manager for Buttons Galore. I am also part of blogger programs for Cricut and Plaid, who provided some product used in this article. Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking.]

How to Make A Heart Chicken Wire Memo Board

Chicken wire is so hot for home decor, but using it doesn’t mean you have to create a design that is “farmhouse” looking. This bright, colorful heart chicken wire memo board will fit right in when it is hung up in my teenage daughter’s bright pink bedroom, and will be a great place to hang cards and pictures.

Supplies Needed:

This chicken wire memo board project is entirely made from scratch, cut from a sheet of plywood. The great thing about doing it that way is that it can be made to exactly the size that will work for the space that you have! (My heart is about 17″ high.)

To start this project, I needed a template to work from. If you have a steady hand, you could hand draw your cutting outlines on the plywood, but I prefer working with a template. To create my template, I used the basic shape tool in my Cricut Design Space Software to draw two hearts and merged them. Then, since my template was larger than the cut area on my Cricut, I used the rectangle tool to slice my heart into sections. Then I cut out all of the pieces and taped them back together to make my template!

heart template

After I made my template, I used it to trace an outline on my sheet of plywood. Then I cut out the heart outline with my jigsaw. To cut out the inside of the heart, I drilled a hole first with my largest drill bit. That gave me a place to insert my jigsaw blade as a starting point, and then I worked my way along the inside of the outline.

The 1/4″ plywood is surprisingly easy to cut and a heart is just gentle curves and straight lines – don’t be intimidated! (Don’t forget your safety glasses!)

Once the shape was cut out, I cleaned up the edges and the surface with sandpaper. Then I painted it with a beautiful shade of pink called “Vintage Victorian” from the Plaid FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Paint line.

buttons on heart memo board

After the paint was dry, I started on the button collage. It’s time consuming to do a collage like this, kind of like doing a jigsaw puzzle that you don’t have a picture for, but I find it kind of zen and relaxing. Having the background be painted is a little cheat – it gives room for error and allows the project to still look right if an area of buttons doesn’t quite fit together correctly. Working in short sections and then letting the glue dry before going further is best to minimize the risk of inadvertently shifting buttons out of position while you work.

Let the front dry completely before starting to work on attaching the chicken wire, to make sure everything is secure!

chicken wire

The chicken wire is a bit stabby to work with but if you are careful it’s possible to get it applied without too much trouble. The most important thing in this step to getting a nice finished piece is making sure that the chicken wire is pulled nice and flat and tight.

I started by cutting a piece of chicken wire that was just a bit larger than my heart. Then I worked in small sections attaching it to the back with hot glue, and pressing masking tape down over the hot glue immediately. (Thanks to Teryn at Vintage Romance Style for the no staple technique!)

Once I did one area, I went across to the opposite side and pulled the wire tight and did that area. Then I picked another spot and went opposite it. I worked my way around the whole heart by going back and forth.

applying chicken wire to frame

After all the glue was dry and cool, then I clipped off as much as I could of the wire pieces that were hanging out, leaving one loop of wire at the top of each curve of the heart to attach a hanger to.

I could have stopped there on my chicken wire memo board, and just attached a hanger, but my perfectionist side wasn’t happy with the messy looking back and wanted to make it look a bit prettier. So I got out a roll of Duck Tape I had on hand (conveniently in pink that matched my project). Laid down in short sections on the back of the heart, it both covered the masking tape & hot glue mess and sealed in stray ends of wire that could poke.

applying duct tape

For the final touch, I cut a piece of ribbon from the 28 Lilac Lane kit to use as a hanger and looped it around the wire I had left exposed. A drop of hot glue adhered the ribbon loops in place.

This same technique can be applied to any shape or size chicken wire memo board….just draw or create a template for the design that you want! What shape do you want to make?

how to make a chicken wire memo board

Decorate Up a Halloween Pumpkin for Fall!

Fall is coming fast! That means it’s time to start thinking about falling leaves, and all things pumpkin spice. Since we don’t get too many traditional signs of fall outside here in Florida, I decided to bring some inside by decorating myself a Halloween pumpkin with some fall leaves and a bit of embellishment “pumpkin spice”.

[Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay a commission to this site when a purchase is made, but it will not affect the price you pay. Some products were provided to me as part of my professional relationships with Cricut and Buttons Galore, but this project is not a sponsored post.]

Halloween Pumpkin

Supplies:

This project will work on a real or plastic halloween pumpkin. I chose a plastic pumpkin so that I can use it the entire Halloween and Thanksgiving season this year and reuse it in future years.

To start my fall pumpkin, I opened Cricut Design Space on my iPad. I could have done this on my computer of course but I just love the Cricut Design Space interface on the iPad so I use it most of the time.

I selected a cut file called “Happy Fall” by JGoode Designs (the fabulous Jen Goode). The design comes with a leaf in it, which I hid since I was going to add my own silk ones. I sized the design at about 4″ wide to fit my pumpkin, but the size that will work for you will depend on the size of your pumpkin.

Cricut Design Space iPad Screen CaptureI chose a gold shade that worked with my leaves from the Cricut Metallic Vinyl Sampler and cut my design from the vinyl. Using transfer tape, I pressed the design into place on the pumpkin. It’s hard to get it pushed entirely down into place on a surface like the pumpkin. I found the scraper from my Cricut Explore tool set helped a lot. The vinyl has some “give” in it, and the scraper helped smooth and push it down into all of the crevices so it is adhered perfectly.

Next, I started adhering the leaves with my hot glue gun. I started with the ones on each end, and then filled in the two in the middle. I layered as I went, tucking them underneath each other where necessary.

Halloween Pumpkin close-upThe final step was to add on the embellishments from the 28 Lilac Lane “toasted graham” bottle to add a bit of bling to my pumpkin! I started with the large buttons. I chose brown because it gives the impression of acorns or fall nuts. It also reminds me of spices – like pumpkin spice! Then on the button closest to the title, I added a bit extra pop with small beads, a pearl, and a sequin.

Halloween Pumpkin decorated with vinyl and leaves | by Nancy Nally for CraftCritique.com

This quick and easy project only took me a few minutes, and used practically no tools besides my Cricut machine. I look forward to enjoying this halloween pumpkin as part of our autumn home decor for years to come!